Mack notes three digital education trends:
• Online courses and programs are increasingly popular – possibly someday leaving lecture halls and computer labs empty and irrelevant.
• The growing trend of institutions, or, in the case of BC, entire governments, offering free and low-cost textbooks has cut into already slumping on campus bookstore sales.
• Online learning hubs such as one introduced in Ontario, offers access to online courses which are fully transferable between provincial universities and colleges, potentially greatly reducing the need for faculty across provincial systems.
Needless to say not everyone who builds universities, runs university bookstores or is on faculty are thrilled by, or convinced of, these digital innovations.
When the Ontario government recently announced its $42 million Centre of Excellence for Online Learning to deliver online courses the body representing Ontario faculty associations criticized the move, saying the government should have included faculty input in planning the initiative.